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article imageNewly discovered species being targeted by poachers

By Tim Sandle     Jan 7, 2016 in Science
Poachers are targeting newly discovered species of value by reviewing reported findings made to scientific journals. In response, many journals are removing location details from papers.
The decision to remove geographical details is being jointly adopted by a number of science publications. The concern is that lizards, snakes and frogs, in particular, are being pushed to "near-extinction."
As an example, a report in the journal Zootaxa about two new species of large gecko, found in southern China, contains no details about the species’ whereabouts. The research paper is titled “Two new species of the genus Goniurosaurus (Squamata: Sauria: Eublepharidae) from southern China.”
The paper concerns two new species of large geckos in the genus Goniurosaurus. These were discovered in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, located in southern China. The two new species are: Goniurosaurus kadoorieorum sp. nov. and Goniurosaurus kwangsiensis sp. nov.
Five geckos were sent to space in a Russian study on animal reproductive behaviour under low gravity...
Five geckos were sent to space in a Russian study on animal reproductive behaviour under low gravity conditions.
Frank Wouters
According to The Guardian, the journal states: “Due to the popularity of this genus as novelty pets, and recurring cases of scientific descriptions driving herpetofauna to near-extinction by commercial collectors, we do not disclose the collecting localities of these restricted-range species in this publication.” The action was taken due to the growing popularity of geckos as "novelty pets." Many are captured, sold, and then later die due to the people buying them being inexperienced in looking after the creatures.
File picture shows a man holding up a Crested Gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliatus) in Paris on September 6...
File picture shows a man holding up a Crested Gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliatus) in Paris on September 6, 2013
Jacques Demarthon, AFP/File
In place of publishing location data, journals adopting this stance are logging geographical data with relevant national governments. This position is supported by The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.
Despite efforts by governments and campaign groups, global poaching levels remain high. An example is with all five remaining rhino species. All are at risk, with three out of five species classified as critically endangered.
This Rhino is also known as the Hook-Lipped Rhino. Both Black and White Rhinos both graze and browse...
This Rhino is also known as the Hook-Lipped Rhino. Both Black and White Rhinos both graze and browse, however the White Rhino is much larger, and the Black Rhino tends to hold it's head up, while the White Rhino keeps it's head lower
Laurens / Crazy Creatures (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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